If you're looking to shake up your fitness routine and boost your core strength, then check out these exercises using the humble medicine ball! Medicine ball exercises are great for overall strengthening of the muscles in your lower back and abdominals. Here are three great exercises you can work into your regular routine.
Disclaimer: Only undertake physical activity if you are fit and well to do so. Speak to a qualified Personal Trainer or relevant instructor before undertaking these exercises.
Medicine ball chop and leg left
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding the medicine ball above your head with slightly bent arms. As you bring the ball down diagonally across your body to the outside of your left hip, bring your left knee up. Return to the starting position and repeat. Do the same on the opposite side of the body and repeat, alternating legs. Do 3 sets of 10-15 repetitions.
- The exercise should be one smooth motion with the ball moving across your body and your knee being raised at the same time.
- Try to repeat as fast as possible while still maintaining good technique.
- Make sure your back remains straight and your core strong.
Medicine ball twists
Sit down on your exercise mat with your knees bent in front of you. With the medicine ball close to your body, lean back and allow your knees to move with you keeping your body in a 45 degree angle. Once you are in the starting position begin the exercise by twisting your torso to the right and touching the medicine ball on the floor. Do the same movement to the opposite side in one smooth motion. Do 3 sets of 10-15 repetitions.
- Keep your feet together and only twist from the waist.
- Move your head with your body as it twists so you are looking at the ball.
- You can perform decline twists using an exercise bench to make sure your feet are raised higher than your buttocks. This makes your abs work harder to keep your torso in the lean back position.
Medicine ball push ups
Place the medicine ball in front of you. Assume a plank position with your hands on the ball and your legs out behind you. Feet should be shoulder-width apart and you should be in the normal push up position except your hands are on the medicine ball. With your hands at each side of the ball engage your abs, bend your elbows and lower your upper body towards the top of the ball. Slowly push yourself back up to starting position. Do 3 sets of 10-15 repetitions.
- Keep your back straight and do not allow your legs or stomach/torso to sag downwards towards the floor.
- You head should be facing the floor – do not pull it back or let it drop downwards.
- Incline and decline: Use a low bench or a step up block to raise either the ball off of the ground (incline push ups) or your feet off of the ground (decline push ups).